Marsha Blackburn derides University of Memphis program incentivizing 'woke' course transformations

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Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is calling out the University of Memphis’ decision to offer $3,000 in stipends for faculty to infuse diversity, equity and inclusion into their courses.

“The University should be encouraging their students to be independent thinkers, expanding their world view, learning how to be lifelong learners and respectful of all,” said Blackburn in a statement provided to Fox News on Tuesday. 

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund a woke social justice agenda.”

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS OFFERS FACULTY $3K FOR ‘INFUSING’ EQUITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE INTO CURRICULUM: REPORT

Logo for the University of Memphis (Screenshot, YouTube)

Logo for the University of Memphis (Screenshot, YouTube)

The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday that an all-faculty email showed the university offering a $1,500 stipend after professors redesigned their curricula, with another $1,500 after teaching the redesigned course. According to the email, 15-20 faculty members will be selected for the program, which begins in the spring of 2022.

“This announcement offers a competitive grant opportunity designed to support faculty who are interested in redesigning and aligning existing course syllabi with the goals established by the workgroup entitled, Infusing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice into Existing Courses/Curriculum,” the email reads.

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That working group links to a report emphasizing the need for anti-racism, a term popularized by controversial author Ibram Kendi. 

It includes a call to “[e]stablish funding to incentivize faculty and instructors to enroll in cultural competency workshops focused on race and racism, designing anti-racist syllabi, and developing skills and appropriate dispositions for facilitating anti-racist classroom discussion.”

The university did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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